Book Review & Giveaway: Mended with Gold by Lee Welch

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: 27,000 words approx.


A photographer with post-traumatic stress disorder falls for a comics artist on a wild New Zealand beach, but can he find true love when he feels so wounded by life?

Everything changed when the bomb exploded. Forty-five-year old, Alex Cox worked as an international photographer until a deadly explosion left him with post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotionally wounded, and desperate for a sense of safety, he's run all the way to wild and remote Kahawai Bay, New Zealand.

Under the worst possible circumstances, Alex meets Joe, a shy young comics artist. Joe lets Alex into his playful, gentle world of comics, and soon Alex is falling for him, hard. Alex longs for more. Joe is reticent. But is it shyness? Or does Joe not want a much older lover with 'issues'? Or is something else keeping them apart?

This is a tender and uplifting story about creativity, adversity, true love, and comics.

Review 5 Stars

"You're like one of those china bowls the Japanese mend with gold... They're much more beautiful for having been broken and mended" - Alex to Joe

ALex and Joe are both broken characters: Joe from a car accident and Alex suffering from PTSD after surviving a bomb blast in Laos. He'd been keen to try his hand at some photo-journalism, but after the bomb he just couldn't do it anymore. Alex needs peace and quiet now and he decides to move all the way to New Zealand.

He first sees Joe lying asleep on a sofa in the sunroom of a house he's just come to see and can't help wondering if the handsome young man comes along with the house. He doesn't, but he does live nearby.

Joe suffers from crippling shyness and after the things a horrible ex said to him, he's lost even more confidence than ever. He's scarred and in pain most days and he doesn't think anyone would want to put up with him. Joe puts his heart and soul into his comic drawings and wonders if one day he'll have courage enough to talk to Alex about how he really feels.

Mended with Gold has got to be one of the most romantic books I have ever read. Alex and Joe are so perfect for each other and most of the book is them getting to know each other - they don't jump straight into bed together, but there is some pining from afar.

The book is tender and romantic and the author deals sensitively with the subject of PTSD. Nothing is there for shock value, it all ties into the story.

Lush descriptions and passionate prose made this book a joy to read. You could almost imagine you can hear the surf and the tang of the sea air. The setting is almost a character in itself and it makes me want to go back to New Zealand.

The only thing that would make it better would be if we had some parts with Joe's point of view. It's all told through Alex's eyes and a few bits from Joe's comics.

All in all a wonderful read.

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Author Bio

Lee Welch wrote her first book aged seven (a pastiche of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and first had an idea for an m/m romance aged twelve. She loves books and comics, and when she’s not writing, she’ll probably be reading. Her favourite authors include Ursula Le Guin, Graham Greene, Linda Medley, Dylan Horrocks and KJ Charles. By day, Lee works as an editor and business communications adviser, mainly persuading people not to say ‘utilise’ when they mean ‘use’. Her job has led her to work in areas as diverse as mental health, nursing, accident prevention and the criminal justice sector.

Lee loves to hear from readers. You can find her at:
Twitter: @leewelchwriter

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